NC750 goes the dis­tance

Oli’s been play­ing the field and go­ing on dates with friskier mod­els, but he’s come home to his prac­ti­cal play­mate ‘ The NC gives you all the joy of be­ing on two wheels; you just have to work a bit harder to find it’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­

You know they say ab­sence makes the heart grow fonder? I rode the NC750X for the first time in three weeks yes­ter­day – I’d been away on an epic scooter ad­ven­ture to Va­len­cia with our Mo­togp re­porter Si­mon Pat­ter­son (read about it in MCN De­cem­ber 7) – but de­spite the wet, greasy and cold con­di­tions the Honda brought a huge smile to my face as I re­minded my­self just how good this bike can be.

Okay, ad­mit­tedly rid­ing any­thing is go­ing to feel good after 2000 miles on a 125cc twist-and- go scooter but it’s not just that; we were out on an af­ford­able mid­dleweight group test with Kawasaki’s Ver­sys 650 and Suzuki’s SV650 in tow, so it wasn’t just the NC I was rid­ing. While the SV650 with­out a doubt wins the test on fun fac­tor alone, I was sur­prised to find my­self pre­fer­ring the NC750 over the more com­pa­ra­ble Ver­sys.

While I was away, MCN road tester Chad had spent some time with the NC and in all hon­esty, I ex­pected him not to like it. It can be a bit slug­gish, it’s very heavy and with the 6500rpm red line, you’re for­ever chang­ing gear.

“It grows on you, doesn’t it,” he grunts at me as he ar­rives at MCN’S of­fice. That’s the thing with the NC. There are no frills, it doesn’t sing and shout, but it is good at what it does. It’s a bike de­signed to get you from A to B in a cheap and ef­fi­cient man­ner, and that’s ex­actly what it does.

It’s easy to ride, even though it’s heavy it has a low cen­tre of grav­ity (from the low po­si­tion­ing of the par­al­lel-twin mo­tor and un­der­seat fuel tank), and even when it’s rid­den with­out fuel econ­omy in mind it’ll still re­turn 65/ 70 miles per gal­lon. In fact, my 65mpg is piti­ful com­pared to some of the fig­ures fel­low NC rid­ers have claimed they’re get­ting after read­ing one of my on­line re­ports.

While it could def­i­nitely do with a bit more power it does have bags of torque, and with that low- end grunt and lack of revs, it’s al­most like a diesel! You may think that’s the last thing you’d want from a mo­tor­bike but the NC isn’t as dull as it sounds. While it cer­tainly doesn’t give me as much of a buzz as the CB500R I had on short­term loan be­fore the NC ar­rived, it still gives you all the joy of be­ing on two wheels; you just have to work a bit harder to find it.

It’s the prac­ti­cal­ity side of things that al­ways wins me over with the NC. The jour­ney from my house in Lin­coln to our Peter­bor­ough is a 68-mile com­mute and for charg­ing up and down the A1 ev­ery day (I will opt for a bet­ter route if the weather’s nice and don’t have to be some­where) the NC750 is al­most per­fect. It’ll cruise at mo­tor­way speeds eas­ily, it’s rel­a­tively com­fort­able (although the seat is some­times a lit­tle too hard for my lik­ing) and the high rid­ing po­si­tion and wide, up­right bars make glid­ing through traf­fic ef­fort­less.

How­ever, the one small qualm I have is the fuel tank is a lit­tle on the small side. While the NC is re­ally eco­nom­i­cal, I’m still stop­ping ev­ery 180 miles de­spite the the­o­ret­i­cal range from my MPG be­ing a touch over 200 miles. Honda claim the NC has a 14-litre fuel tank, but at the fill­ing sta­tion the most I’ve ever been able to squeeze in was 12 litres and that was after run­ning for 30 miles with the petrol light on. How­ever, I think the rea­son for this is that with the fuel tank under the seat, I can’t fill the bike while it’s com­pletely up­right as I don’t have a cen­tre­stand, per­haps I should in­vest in one to squeeze out those ex­tra miles?

Oli’s missed the NC, but not the 125cc scooter

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